ED conducts searches in probe of STP scam in DJB

  • | Saturday | 6th July, 2024

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it seized Rs 41 lakh in cash, "incriminating" documents and digital devices during searches conducted as part of a money laundering case linked to alleged corruption in the augmentation of some Sewage Treatment Plants by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).The raids were launched on July 3 and covering multiple places in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Hyderabad, the ED said in a statement. The money laundering investigation stems from an FIR of the Delhi government anti-corruption branch (ACB) against a company named Euroteck Environmental Pvt Ltd. And others alleging a scam in the DJB in the name of augmentation and upgradation of 10 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) at Pappankala, Nilothi [Package 1], Najafgarh, Keshopur [Package 2], Coronation Pillar, Narela, Rohini [Package 3] and Kondli [Package 4]. These four tenders, valued at Rs 1,943 crore, were awarded to various joint venture (JV) entities in October, 2022. The probe agency has filed Prosecution Complaint before the Special Court on 28-03-2024 against Jagdish Kumar Arora, the then Chief Engineer, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Tejinder Pal Singh [close associate of Jagdish Kumar Arora], Anil Kumar Agarwal [proprietor of M/s Integral Screw Industries, Sub-Contractor], DK Mittal [the then employee of NBCC] and M/s NKG Infrastructure Limited [Contractor of DJB] in the case of Delhi Jal Board [DJB] under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The  PMLA Special Court has taken cognizance of the Prosecution Complaint on 03-04-2024. According to the ED, the FIR registered by the ACB alleges that only three JV companies participated in the four tenders."While two JVs got one tender each, one JV got two tenders. The three JVs participated in the four STP tenders mutually to ensure that each one got the tender," as per the ED.  The FIR alleges that the tendering conditions were made "restrictive" including adoption of IFAS technology to ensure that select few entities could participate in the four bids, it said. "The cost estimates initially prepared was Rs 1,546 crore but was revised during the tender process to Rs 1,943 crore. "It is further alleged that the contracts were awarded to the three JVs at inflated rates which caused a substantive loss to the exchequer," according to the central agency. The ED said its probe found that four tenders related to STPs valued at Rs 1,943 crore were awarded by the DJB to three JVs.  In all the four tenders, two JVs [out of three common JVs] participated in each tender and all the three JVs secured the tenders, the agency said.    "The costs adopted by DJB for upgradation and augmentation were same though the cost of upgradation is lesser than the cost for augmentation.  "All the 3 JVs submitted the same experience certificate issued from a Taiwan Project to DJB for securing the tenders and the same was accepted without any verifications," it said.         All the three JVs "sub-contracted" the work related to the four tenders to Euroteck Environment Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad. The verification of the tender documents shows that the initial cost of four tenders was about Rs 1,546 crore which was revised to Rs 1,943 crore without following due process/project reports, according to the ED. "Cash of Rs 41 lakh, various incriminating documents and digital evidence were seized during the searches," it said.

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